Why Google Is So Interested In Kenya's Transit System

The thousands of graphics-covered minibuses called matatus that zip through Nairobi make up one of the largest (and liveliest) informal transportation systems in the world. This unregulated—some might say renegade—transit keeps the city moving rather efficiently, and, until recently, was an all-cash business. Until… » 7/17/14 4:44pm 7/17/14 4:44pm

Why Bikes Make Smart People Say Dumb Things

Scott Simon's bio on the NPR website describes him as "one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters," and it's tough to argue with that. As a Peabody-winning journalist with decades of experience, Simon's credentials are unimpeachable, and as the Saturday host of Weekend Edition, he regularly shows… » 7/07/14 5:32pm 7/07/14 5:32pm

Why Countdown Clocks for Pedestrians Actually Cause More Car Crashes

As a frequent traveler by foot, I love countdowns at crosswalks. They tell me whether I should wait out 2 seconds or leisurely walk across in 15. And indeed, these countdowns do make pedestrians safer. But it turns out that countdowns actually cause more crashes between cars. Here's why. » 7/01/14 4:34pm 7/01/14 4:34pm

Why Don't More Cities Have E-Bike Shares?

This week, Madrid became the first European city to launch a fully electric bike share system for its residents. It works just like a regular bike share, but better: An electric motor kicks in to help with pedaling, and most importantly, give you an extra push up hills. Why isn't this standard for bike shares… » 6/24/14 4:56pm 6/24/14 4:56pm

How Bad Street Design Kills Pedestrians

In the United States between 2003 and 2012, one pedestrian was hit by a car every eight minutes. 676,000 of those pedestrians lived. 47,025 of those pedestrians died. That's 16 times the number of people who were killed by natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, or tornadoes during the same period. » 6/03/14 1:57pm 6/03/14 1:57pm

What Will Happen When All Paris Traffic Slows To 19 Miles Per Hour?

Sixty percent vehicles in Paris run on diesel, and the city is struggling to curb emissions—banning half its cars for a day, making public transport and bike shares free for a weekend, and pedestrianizing large swathes of the urban grid. Now, a new proposal by Mayor Anne Hidalgo will cap the speed limit at 30… » 5/27/14 7:12pm 5/27/14 7:12pm

A Rare Trip On The Floating Train Yard Of Hudson Harbor

The only two options that freight trains have for accessing the east side of the Hudson River are to cross a bridge in Albany—140 painstaking miles North of New York City—or to ride a rail barge across the Hudson through the highly efficient marine-rail operation run by NYNJ Rail in Jersey City. » 5/10/14 1:43pm 5/10/14 1:43pm

NYC's Most Lucrative Fire Hydrant Earns The City $33,000 a Year

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The fire hydrant. For decades, it has been feared by any New York City driver who dares to venture out without a tape measure. If your car comes within 15 feet of a hydrant, the next thing you know you may be at the tow pound, picking it up with a several hundred dollar bill. » 5/01/14 3:53pm 5/01/14 3:53pm

Three of the World's Prettiest Parking Garages Are In One Small City

Parking garages are ugly by their very nature: They're metal cages that take up valuable space in our cities to house our automobiles for a few high-priced hours. But not all garages have to be ugly. In fact, three of the most beautiful are located within a few blocks of each other, in the city of Santa Monica,… » 4/14/14 6:10pm 4/14/14 6:10pm

Silent But Deadly: The EU Wants Electric Cars to Add Sounds for Safety

Last week, the European Parliament ruled that all electric and hybrid cars must add artificial engine noise so that pedestrians can hear them coming. While the mandate is mostly to protect visually impaired pedestrians, the noise will also benefit anyone on the street who's ever had a near-miss with a Prius. » 4/07/14 2:31pm 4/07/14 2:31pm

Is This Ride-Sharing Smart Minivan the Future of Self-Driving Cars?

Autonomous vehicles are likely going to have to do more than just drive themselves: They're also going to have to organize carpools. GM's EN-V was cute and all, but this Akka Link & Go 2.0 is more like a tiny bus—which is a much more reasonable proposition for a self-driving, car-sharing fleet. » 3/12/14 6:42pm 3/12/14 6:42pm

Welcome to The World's Largest Ghost City: Ordos, China

Built for over a million people, the city of Ordos was designed to be the crowning glory of Inner Mongolia. Doomed to incompletion however, this futuristic metropolis now rises empty out of the deserts of northern China. Only 2% of its buildings were ever filled; the rest has largely been left to decay, abandoned… » 3/12/14 3:41pm 3/12/14 3:41pm